Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease: A Gateway to Therapeutics?

Weidong Le, Pavani Sayana, Joseph Jankovic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder of unknown etiology, although a complex interaction between environmental and genetic factors has been implicated as a pathogenic mechanism of selected neuronal loss. A better understanding of the etiology, pathogenesis, and molecular mechanisms underlying the disease process may be gained from research on animal models. While cell and tissue models are helpful in unraveling involved molecular pathways, animal models are much better suited to study the pathogenesis and potential treatment strategies. The animal models most relevant to PD include those generated by neurotoxic chemicals that selectively disrupt the catecholaminergic system such as 6-hydroxydopamine; 1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropiridine; agricultural pesticide toxins, such as rotenone and paraquat; the ubiquitin proteasome system inhibitors; inflammatory modulators; and several genetically manipulated models, such as α-synuclein, DJ-1, PINK1, Parkin, and leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 transgenic or knock-out animals. Genetic and nongenetic animal models have their own unique advantages and limitations, which must be considered when they are employed in the study of pathogenesis or treatment approaches. This review provides a summary and a critical review of our current knowledge about various in vivo models of PD used to test novel therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-110
Number of pages19
JournalNeurotherapeutics
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • animal models
  • motor symptoms
  • neuroprotection
  • neurotoxins
  • non-motor symptoms
  • Parkinson's disease
  • therapeutics
  • transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology

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